View Opperman’s works at the expanded gallery until 30 August
In Touch with a Cheetah
Enjoy a personal encounter with these regal mammalian athletes
Cheetahs have been man's hunting partners and royal companions for centuries. The ancient Egyptians deified cheetahs. The pharaohs kept cheetahs as close personal companions and believed these animals had the power to carry their souls to the afterlife.
According to an educational video at the Cheetah Outreach Project, it is now our turn to be their companions: These nimble beasts are on the brink of extinction. And their fate is in our hands.
The Cheetah Outreach project was started eight years ago on a piece of land donated by the Spier farm, outside Stellenbosch, and has since moved to Somerset Mall at Paardevlei. The project aims to provide a voice to the free ranging cheetah through education and awareness in urban and rural communities.
Take a stroll through the Cheetah Outreach Project and come face to face with these majestic cats. Meet Zsa Zsa, Savannah, Shan, Charlie, Kai and Shadow - the Cheetah Outreach Project's friendly feline ambassadors. Learn more about their lives, their habits and the dangers that face them.
Stroke an adult cheetah, cuddle up with a cute little cub, or go on a guided tour with one of the project's many enthusiastic volunteers (Cheetah Outreach volunteers come from all over the world - quitting their jobs, selling their houses and saying goodbye to their friends - to fight for the survival of this beautiful animal).
On your tour of the centre, you will also meet a pack of brave Turkish Anatolian Shepard dogs: When rural farmers lose their livestock to predators they often blame and kill cheetahs (without taking other predators into account). These furry 'soldiers' are bred on the premises at Spier and then sent to various rural farms to protect farmers' livestock against predators and cheetahs from farmers.
A personal encounter with a cheetah is a humbling experience: Upon meeting these graceful African cats, it is easy to understand why they have been doted on by kings and noblemen across the globe for centuries.
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